emma b. says

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Seventh Day, Day of Rest

And light breaks through the blinds to applause. Cracking an eyelid to assess the sunlight, a watery grey. The six-hundred thread count sheets in a pastel egg shell blue cocoon me softly in the gentle space between shedding a dream and donning the day so I stretch and listen to the applause. It's Bay to Breakers Sunday and the nuts, the nudists and the physically fit are all in running shoes careening through the Panhandle and the whoops of enthusiastic rooters waft through the park, dodge traffic and float up Ashbury to my bedroom window.

I love Sunday mornings in bed, when I reach an arm away my warmth and feel the cool touch of my settled apartment, and my sleep warmed welcome the chill of the wood floor, and I may or may not have to dress at all.

On this day my two good friends and I have resolved to walk. In the opposite direction from the nuts, the nudists and the physically fit.

P and I meet Z on the hill beneath the tower where he lives. We descend a mythic staircase, and the foliage is lush and dense and the parrots sing as we descend, on a day like today, where the sun is half out and the rain is half in, and we feel the strength of the sun at our backs and the lick of the Pacific on our faces, it's a bit of tropical nostalgia, and all of the birds and helicopters are in flight.

Heading West on the Embarcadero, past hulking wharves rehabilitated to house Cruise ships and striving-to-be fashionable restaurants, past clumps of tourists new to sea and new to city, past the surviving restaurants flagged in neon and wax museums and sagging relics and tee shirt shops, past what used to be towards unabashedly what is.

An Irish coffee in the belly of a dinosaur so I can use the facilities and we are off again. We skirt the water at the Dolphin Club, where the bathers used to preen, once upon a time ago. Beneath what is now the Maritime Museum, the peeling pastel glory of Art Deco. It begins to sprinkle as we crest the hill over Fort Mason, and the Eucalyptus is intoxicating in the humidity, down the hill, though the park to the marina. The wind has come up and is jingling the masts, a conclave of pigeons and mediating seagulls. We stop at a bench to smoke, throughout conversation has the languid urgency of people who know each other well and are likely to concur. A regatta on the bay, brightly hued spinnakers fueled by luft. We walk the length of the Marina Green to Chrissy Fields, snack on a vaunted but actually mediocre tuna fish sandwich at the Cavern on the Green I relish the increasingly plaintive rain drops sliding down my neck and soaking my shoulders, quietly wishing for a squalling bay and a wet lashing, and wringing the water from my hair.

But we head inland, towards the great dome of the Palace of Fine Arts in search of the gigantic mythical black carp. Hard to discern much under the oily green water beneath those graceful arches, just a lone swan and her offspring and and a massive, mutant orange carp who regarded us with disinterest.

Heading South East towards Union and Rose's Cafe to the promise of polenta and tomato sauce. Alas, are options were limited to panino and chopped salad, not bad since dinner was a few scant hours hence.

We parted ways with Z and headed to Whole Foods to do hand to hand grocery combat with the well heeled hordes of the renegade cart brigade, armed with a massive Rosie chicken we made is out unscathed and I even managed not to scrape my car in the obscenely tight parking lot.

I roasted the massive bird in lemon and herb de provence, roasted fennel in the massive bird juices, made M's favorite crispy leeks and a mache and mint salad, watched the season finale of the Simpson's and drank a nice, crisp Vin de Savoie. The lightest chord, for the lightest day, a quiet fermata, to end as we began. Or to borrow the last line of the book I just finished, I am yours in dharma, there is no period, because there is no end


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